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Department ofPsychology

Psychology Honors Program

Requirements

The Psychology Honors Program accepts applications from all current Junior and Senior psychology majors. Ideally, students will enter the program in the Spring quarter of their Junior year (with applications available in early February of the Winter quarter). Seniors may, under some circumstances, be allowed to join in the Fall quarter of their Senior year. At the time of application, students must:

  • Be a declared psychology major
  • Have Junior or Senior standing
  • Have a minimum 3.3 GPA (Psychology) and 3.3 overall. 
  • Have completed (by the start of the quarter in which you enroll):
      • Psyc 1, 2, and Math 8
      • Psyc 51, 52, and 53
  • Senior applicants who wish to join late (i.e., entering in Fall quarter) must have already begun working with a faculty mentor on a research project, or have already identified and been in contact with a site director at an appropriate internship site.

Program Information

The Psychology Honors Program provides a unique opportunity for an intensive, in-depth experience during your undergraduate career here at SCU. You’ll participate in a multi-term experience with other psychology honors students and faculty mentors. The program is designed to bring together strong psychology majors who will complete a major project by the end of senior year. The major project can be either an intensive internship or research experience, culminating in a written thesis and oral presentation. While focusing on your major project, you will also work on practical skills (e.g., public speaking, using stats and methods tools), career planning and development, and completing service projects for our department or the larger community.

If invited to participate, you must complete an extended course sequence that includes:

  • Up to two consecutive quarters of Psyc 99: Honors Colloquium (2 Units each)
  • either Psyc 199: Directed Research (5 Units) or Psyc 198: Internship/Practicum (5 Units).

The 199/198 coursework reflects 100 hours of participation. Typically, students would register for 199 or 198 during the quarter when they expect to complete their major project, although the work itself would likely be spread out over multiple quarters. (See Major Project Coursework below.)

A typical schedule might look like this:

 

Fall Quarter

Winter Quarter

Spring Quarter

Junior Year

   

Psyc 99 (2 units)

Explore project ideas; decide on research or internship path; identify project mentor; discuss career paths; skill development.

Senior Year

Psyc 99 (2 units)

Practice presentation skills; peer feedback on major projects; complete service projects.


For research students: meet weekly with mentor, write proposal, prep IRB approval, etc.


For internship students: begin internship hours (5 per week for 10 weeks)

For research students: Continue to work with faculty mentor, collect data, conduct preliminary analyses



For internship students:

Psyc 198 (5 units) Continue internship hours (5 per week for 10 weeks). Complete paper on internship topic, give oral presentation.

For research students:

Psyc 199 (5 units)

Continue to work with faculty mentor, finish analyses, complete full report of project, give oral presentation

 

Psyc 99 Course Overview

Earn 2 units in a P/NP course for each quarter you participate in the Honors Colloquium (Psyc 99). Psyc 99 is offered in Spring and Fall quarters and meets on Wednesdays 4:45-6:15 pm. The class will include career development activities, technical skill development, guest speakers, as well as activities designed to enhance and support you as honors students. The class culminates with a public presentation describing the major project you have in progress when the Fall quarter ends.

Major Project Coursework

If you choose the RESEARCH option, you must identify a mentor (typically a faculty member in the Psychology Department) who is willing to sponsor your application to and participation in the honors program. You’ll earn 5 units of Psyc 199 credit, with your mentor as instructor of record, for 100 hours of participation in the lab (which can be spread over multiple terms). The details of your work are something you negotiate with your mentor.

If you choose the INTERNSHIP option, you should have a site or experience in mind. You’ll earn 5 units of Psyc 198 credit, with Professor Kieran Sullivan as the instructor of record, for 100 hours of participation in your internship. There are numerous resources on campus to help you find an appropriate internship which will be discussed in the Psyc 99 course. As Professor Sullivan is the instructor, you will consult with her to determine how you’ll work toward the 100-hour requirement (often, students will begin working at a site and tracking hours a quarter or two before they earn the 198 credits and write their paper). You must have a conversation with Professor Sullivan about the specific requirements.

To be clear, for either option, expect to put at least 100 hours of participation into your major project, where, again, the work can be spread over multiple quarters. For your 100 hours of work, which may be spread across several terms, you earn 5 units in the final quarter of your participation in the program, which can count as an upper-division elective toward the psychology major requirements.

Other Expectations

Seniors are expected to give an oral presentation related to their experience at the end of the quarter in which they complete their major project (i.e., the quarter in which they earn the Psyc 198 or Psyc 199 course credit).

All students enrolled in Psyc 99 will be expected to contribute toward at least one tangible service project to benefit either the SCU psychology department, the SCU community, our surrounding community in Santa Clara, or the profession of psychology more broadly.

FAQs

Q: Do I get a grade for P99?

A: The class is P/NP.

Q: Do you sign me up for P198/P199?

A: No. That's something you do with either Professor Sullivan (P198) or your research mentor (P199).

Q: I want to do an internship. Can you help me find one?

A: No. There are a number of resources on campus to assist you in finding an appropriate internship. These will be discussed in the Spring quarter Psyc 99 class. Professor Sullivan is the person to consult if you are stuck and have specific questions about what might be a suitable site.

Q: I have a busy schedule! May I miss P99 classes?  

A: Attendance and participation are required for all Psyc 99 class meetings. Students who fall below the expectations set at the start of the quarter will earn an NP for the course.

Q: I want to switch from doing research to an internship (or vice versa). May I?

A: Yes, assuming you’re still early in the process.  If you choose to do this, notify the Psyc 99 instructor ASAP.

Q: I’m a junior but I’m going abroad in the spring. Can I still get accepted into this program? What if I’m a senior who will miss fall quarter?

A: Current juniors who miss the spring quarter Psyc 99 class can still enter the program in the Fall of their Senior year, although this is not recommended. If this is the case, you will need to meet a higher bar for demonstrating that you are prepared to complete the 100-hour major project requirements and finish successfully in your senior year. If you plan to be away during the fall quarter of your senior year, we recommend that you not apply to this program.

Q: I’m graduating a quarter early (end of Winter). Can I still participate in the program?

A: Yes, you may still participate in the Honors Program, however, if accepted, we recommend that you speak with your faculty mentor (for research) or with Professor Sullivan (for internships) as soon as possible to lay out a concrete plan for finishing your major project in time. 

 

Q: How and when will I know if I’ve been accepted into the Psychology Department Honors Program?

A: You will hear from us by email before Spring registration begins (for Juniors) or before Fall registration begins (for Seniors).

 

Q: I'm eligible and interested. How do I apply?

A: Please complete an application online. For current Juniors applying to enter in Spring quarter, the form must be submitted by 5 pm on the Friday of Week 4 of Winter quarter. For current Seniors applying to enter late (in Fall quarter), the form must be submitted by 5 pm on the Friday of Week 4 of Spring quarter.



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